06 October, 2010

Water Walking

I don't do this often, but from time to time I feel led to share a sermon. 
I preached this one about 5 years ago, but it just kept coming back to mind tonight. 

Hope it helps someone.

Matthew 14:24-32 MKJV
(24)  But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves; for the wind was against them.
(25)  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
(26)  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a phantom! And they cried out for fear.
(27)  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer, I AM! Do not fear.
(28)  And Peter answered Him and said, LORD, if it is You, tell me to come to You on the water.
(29)  And He said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
(30)  But seeing that the wind was strong, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me!
(31)  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him; and said to him, Little-faith! Why did you doubt?
(32)  And when they had come into the boat, the wind ceased.

Here are some things you need to know about water-walking:
(1) Everybody has a boat. 

Your boat is whatever gives you your greatest sense of significance and security. 
It's what you're tempted to put your trust in, especially when life gets stormy. 
Want to know what your boat is? 
Your fear will tell you. 

Ask yourself, What is it that most produces fear in me - especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith?

(2) You must keep your eyes on the Savior, not the storm. 
When did Peter sink?
When he saw the wind. 
We all know what it's like to see the wind, don't we?    
You begin a new adventure full of hope.        
Maybe it's a job or a new relationship.        
Maybe you're trying to succeed in a new venture. 
At the beginning you're full of faith.
It's blue skies and sunshine… 
Then reality sets in. 
Setbacks.     Opposition.      Financial challenges. 

Life's full of surprises so we should expect it, but somehow trouble still has the power to blindside us. 

Because of the wind some of us never leave the boat. 
But the truth is, there's no guarantee that life in the boat will be any safer. 
Everything's risky! 

Do you realize that Baseball's greatest hitters fail 2 times out of 3.     
But if you don't step up to the plate you'll never know the joy of getting that hit. 
Understand this: if you live in the boat you'll eventually die in the boat, and you'll end up wondering what your life might have been if only you'd been willing to step over the side.

Matthew 14:30 MKJV
(30)  But seeing that the wind was strong, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me!
The truth about water-walking is: the fear never completely goes away! 
If you want to grow, you must go into new territory. 
And each time you do you'll experience fear. 
You might as well give up trying to make fear go away! 
Fear and growth go together; it's a package deal. 

The decision to grow means choosing between risk and comfort. 
Each time you get out of the boat you become a little more able to get out the next time. 
It's not that the fear goes away, but rather that you just get used to living with it. 
You realize that it doesn't have the power to destroy you. 

On the other hand, every time you choose to stay in the boat rather than heed the call of Christ to Come, the voice inside you gets a little quieter, till finally you don't hear it at all.
Did Peter fail that day? 
No; I don’t believe he did.
Think about this… Besides Jesus, he's the only man who ever walked on water. 

Failure isn't an event, it's just an opinion.    
It's not what happens to us, but how we think about it. 
Only Peter knew the joy of being empowered by God to do what couldn't humanly be done. 

Walking on water changes you forever. 
When God flows through you to do the supernatural, it will change you forever.
And Peter came to know the grace of being lifted by Jesus in a moment of desperate need. 

I have been there!    
I know what it is like to be knocked down and think I am going out, only to have Jesus lift me up out of the pit of despair!
Peter learned something that we all need to learn: that when you take baby steps of faith, the Lord will never let you drown. 
He had an experience with Christ unlike any other ever has had, but so can you! 
So, failure isn't sinking in the waves, it's never getting out of the boat!

No comments: